New York Times

Index and Links to Articles on the S-51

There are over 100 articles from 1925 to 1930 on the S-51 submarine accident and subsequent salvage efforts in the New York Times Newspaper. An index to those articles is provided below. I have included links to each article in the New York Times TimesMachine. Due to copyright restrictions, you will need a digital subscription to the New York Times to access these until they become public domain in a few more years. Please note that for some longer articles, the New York Times has divided these into multiple smaller articles. Links are given to each smaller article in these instances. Format for each article citation is: Year, month, article date, page number : column number. [NYT Index summary.] "Title of article(s)."


September 1925

Sept. 26, p. 1:1 [Sunk off Block Island in collision with S.S. City of Rome; 37 lost, 3 rescued.] "U.S. Submarine S-51 sunk, 37 lives lost; hit by steamship off Block Island while submerged on practice cruise. Only Three Men Rescued; Picked up by the City of Rome which caused the disaster. Boston Yard awaits word. News from Washington (no title)."

Sept. 27, p. 1:5-8 [Capt. J. H. Diehl of City of Rome tells of disaster; survivor tells his story; Navy Dept holds out little hope for men, feels that city of Rome should have remained; deep sea divers used to adjust lifting cables; report from Rear Admiral H. M. Christy of Submarine Camden in charge of rescue operations.] "Diver Finds Torn Hull of Sunken S-51; Signals Unanswered by 34 Victims; Rescue Ships at Work, Little Hope. Submarine Sank at Once (Capt. Diehl's story of the crash). Plan to Lift Craft Today. Survivor's Story Gives Hope for 14. Navy Department Has Little Hope. Jamaica Man Listed Among S-51 Missing Quit Her Five Hours Before She Left Port (W. E. Harman)."

Sept. 27, p. 2:2 [Portraits of missing officers.]

Sept. 27, p. 3:1 [Navy Dept gives information from official records of missing officers and men.] "Navy Department Lists Names and Homes of 3 Saved and 34 Missing of the S-51 Crew. S-51's Officers All Young Men. Lifeboat Chief's Account. Tells of Officer Calling for Line (and Lira's Story of the Crash). Records of the Men Missing on the S-51 (Newport, R.I. - Albert A. Smith and Valentine Hiltbold). Boston, Mass. (no title - Francis C. Wiseman). Cambridge, Mass. (no title - Kenneth A. Axtman) Bridgeport, Conn. (no title - James L. Schofield). Gloucester, Mass. (no title - Allen Clifford Earl). Pawtucket, R.I. (no title - Stephen Hartley Triffitt). Barre, Vt. (no title - William Joseph Brizell). Philadelphia. (no title - Herbert E. Snyder). Norfolk, Va. (no title - H. L. Crawford).

Sept. 27, p. 4:2 [4 victims were from New York City and vicinity.] "Twins Enlisted as S-51 Seamen. Steamer Sailed Tuesday."

Sept. 27, p. 5:1, 4 [Statement by S. Lake, who built submarine; S. T. Moore thinks crew may be still alive.] "Builder Is Shocked by Loss of the S-51. Believes Crew Still Alive."

Sept. 27, p. 6:1 [Loss of life on S-51 greatest of all navy disasters; other submarine accidents.] "S-51 Loss Greatest of Our Submarines. Geier Ran Away to Sea. S-51 Built at Bridgeport."

Sept. 28, p. 1:5-8 [Salvage ship Monarch to attempt to lift it with cranes; 1st attempt to lift hull ends in failure; divers to be sent to explore boat from stem to stern; statement by Admiral Christy; J. W. Ingraham, navy diver, believes all crew are dead after having failed to get any response; official inquiry starts; Pres. Doumergue sends sympathy of France; Portraits of Capt. J. H. Diehl of the City of Rome and of survivors.] "Efforts to Raise Sunken S-51 Fail; Giant Crane Ship Due at Daybreak; Captain Diehl Answers Navy Critics. Sling Placed About Stern. Inquiry on S-51 Begins at Boston. Navy Diver Certain All Crew Are Dead. First Effort Fails to Budge Submarine."

Sept. 28, p. 2:3 "Send Sympathy of France."

Sept. 28, p. 3:1 [Admiral Ederle discouraged by diver's failure to get response from crew.] "S-51 Silence Dims Washington Hopes."

Sept. 28, p. 3:1 [Editorial.] "S-51 Machinist Mate Had Sunk Twice Before; How Men Survived on S-48 and S-5."

Sept. 29, pp. 1-2 [Heavy seas halt lifting by cranes; divers forced to stop work; hope almost abandoned when 72-hour limit is passed; statement made that S-51 was in charge of 'student officers' explained by navy officials; were men of years of experience; affidavits by crew of S.S. City of Rome made public; Lt. Commander H. A. Flannigan issues statement criticizing conduct of Capt. Diehl.] "All Rescue Work Waits. Divers Forced to Suspend Work. Hoped to Force Air into Craft. Diver Finds No Change. Airplanes to Look for Bodies. Kearsarge Not Equipped for Salvage Work. Navy Denies Charge 'Rookies' Ran S-51. S-51 Survivors Deny Talk of 'Rookies'. Boston (no title); Texts of Affidavits Made Public."

Sept. 30, pp. 1-2 [Capt. E. J. King says submarine was 'starboarded' by S. S. City of Rome; 2 bodies recovered; seas still halt raising of ship; diver enters battery compartment; crane ships, Monarch and Century, stand by for rescue work when weather permits; Radio Corp. of America refuses to give information on radio messages sent by Capt. Diehl at time of accident; honor paid to 2 bodies.] "2 Bodies Recovered, But Seas Still Halt Raising of the S-51. Crane Ships Returning to Scene. Christy Expects Lifting Today."

october 1925

Oct. 1, p. 1:5 [Hope of saving possible survivors is abandoned but rescue work continues. Sec. Wilbur overrules Admiral Christy's opinion that rescue be stopped and work of salvaging be started.] "Hope Is Abandoned, But Effort to Save S-51 Men Will Go On. Admiral Christy Abandons Hope. Wrecking Craft Go Out to Scene. Wilbur Overrules Christy. 'A Submarine' Is Accused. New London, Conn. (no title)."

Oct. 2, p. 1, 12:3 [Cranes fail to lift it; diver tests and finds engine room flooded; officials now convinced all on board died at once; Capt. Diehl of City of Rome that rammed submarine is welcomed by Ocean S.S. Co. in Savannah.] "Cranes Fail to Lift S-51, Now Thought to Be Flooded. Savannah Greets Capt. Diehl."

Oct. 2, p. 12:3 [Testimony of A. Geier and M. S. Lira, survivors, heard at Boston inquiry.] "Survivors Testify at Boston Inquiry."

Oct. 3, p. 1:4, 7:1 [Whole submarine found to be flooded; 3 more bodies recovered; open watertight doors indicates many tried to escape by swimming.] "S-51 All Flooded; Missing Men Died Soon After It Sank."

Oct. 3, p. 14:6 [Editorial on need to have crane ship near submarine base.] "Topics of the Times: They Might Have Had Their Own."

Oct. 3, p. 14:6 [Editorial on reception given Capt. Diehl in Savannah.] "Topics of the Times: Deep Mystery in This Celebration."

Oct. 4, p. 24:1, 3 [Sec. Wilbur orders inquiry to investigate disaster; 5 bodies recovered; storm halts more work; Capt. King says City of Rome was entirely to blame: heroism of divers related.] "Wilbur Orders Inquiry on S-51."

Oct. 4, p. 209 [Article by James C. Young on perils confronting divers.] "The Deep Sea Diver Faces Many Perils."

Oct. 5, p. 16:1 [Memorial services for officers and crew held at Navy base in New London; W. E. Lawton buried; divers continue work.] "Navy Holds Service for Dead of S-51. Divers Work at Great Hazard; Teschemacher's Body in Newark."

Oct. 6, p. 2:5 [Divers cease futile search after orders from Washington; lives imperiled by squall.] "End Effort to Find Bodies in the S-51."

Oct. 6, p. 26:6 [Editorial on heroic work of sea divers.] "Topics of the Times: A Heroic Facing of Danger."

Oct. 7, p. 13:3 [Admiral Christy urges salvage by private agency.] "Urges S-51 Salvage by Private Agency."

Oct. 9, p. 8:3 [Crew of S. S. City of Rome tells of crash.] "City of Rome Crew Tell of S-51 Crash."

Oct. 10, p. 4:4 [Commissioner of Pensions denies rumor that dependents will not get pensions.] "Gets Shenandoah Pension."

Oct. 16, p. 6:3 [Court of inquiry convenes; testimonies.] "Navy Opens Inquiry Into Loss of S-51."

Oct. 17, p. 3:5 [M. Lira reports statement of Capt. Diehl at inquiry at Boston Navy Yard; J. Frazer testifies.] "Reports Capt. Diehl Not Sorry for S-51."

Oct. 18, p. 13:1 [W. P. Ourie, radio operator, testifies on message sent by S.S. City of Rome after collision; R. C. Wilson and J. Ingram, divers, testify.] "Says Diehl Sought to Halt S-51 News."

Oct. 20, p. 29:3 [H. H. Kelley, radio operator of City of Rome, testifies that no distress call was sent for 2 hours after collision.] "Radio on S-51 Crash Delayed 2 Hours."

Oct. 21, p. 22:5 [Editorial explaining that report of demonstration accorded to Capt. Diehl in Savannah was untrue.] "Topics of the Times: They Deny That There Was a Celebration."

Oct. 22, p. 18:6 [Capt. Diehl defends his delay in sending radio message after collision.] "Diehl Defends His Delay."

Oct. 23, p. 25:8 [6th body recovered; disregard of rules of the road cited by Amer. S.S. Licensed Officers' Association in plea to have Government ships, navy and others observe navigation rules.] "Sixth S-51 Body Found. Merchantmen Ask Navy to Be Careful."

Oct. 28, p. 18:1 [T. L. Dreyer, 3rd mate of City of Rome, testifies on lights seen before crash; W. Boll and R. G. Kent, other ship's officers, describe collision.] "White Light of S-51 Studied 20 Minutes."

Oct. 29, p. 26:2 [Capt. J. R. Diehl of S.S. City of Rome testifies.] "Asserts Collision Was Fault of S-51."

Oct. 30, p. 16:1 [Capt. Diehl changes testimony; inquiry adjourns.] "Capt. Diehl Changes Testimony on S-51."

november 1925

Nov. 3, p. 11:3 [Body of H. L. Crawford, radio operator, recovered by divers.] "Radio Man's Body Taken from S-51."

Nov. 5, p. 28:2 [J. S. Herren, radio man of submarine base is commended by Sec. Wilbur for 29 hours of work following accident.] "Commends S-51 Radio Duty."

Nov. 7, p. 3:2 [Collision opens leak in S.S. City of Rome; tug sent to bail water from hold; now waiting off Lewes, Delaware.] "S-51 Collision Opens Leak in City of Rome."

Nov. 8, p. 18:1 [S.S. City of Rome repaired after leak; sails for Boston.] "City of Rome Sails Again." (not indexed online - appears below 'Doubt Slain Man's Story.')

december 1925

Dec. 19, p. 9:5 [Lt. Commander Lockwood, in summing up before Naval Court of Inquiry, blames City of Rome for the sinking.] "Blames City of Rome for Sinking of S-51."

Dec. 29, p. 8:5 [U.S. Government may sue for damages.] "S-51 Suits Are Expected."


january 1926

Jan. 9, p. 2:7 [Trials of Capt. Diehl and of T. Dreyer, third mate, of S. S. city of Rome, begun.] "Capt. Diehl's Trial Starts."

Jan. 10, p. 1:2 [Navy Dept. makes findings public; report of Naval Court of Inquiry turned over to Dept. of Justice; criminal or civil action against Ocean S. S. Co., owner of S. S. City of Rome, expected.] "S-51 Board Blames the City of Rome."

Jan. 10, p. 6:5 [F. L. Lucree, engineer on the City of Rome, and E. Knudson, seaman, testify at trial of Diehl and Dreyer before Boston Board of Steamboat Inspectors.] "Declares Signal Was Too Late."

Jan. 20, p. 2:4 [Representative Griffin introduces resolution for Congressional investigation of sinking.] "Urges Inquiry on S-51."

february 1926

Feb. 12, p. 21:2 [Damage suit against Ocean S. S. Co. for sinking.] "Asks Big S-51 Damages."

Feb. 17, p. 33:4 [$1,800,000 claims filed against Ocean S. S. Co.] "Seek $1,800,000 Damages."

march 1926

Mar. 6, p. 8:1 [Operations to raise it will be resumed.] "Will Again Try to Raise the S-51."

april 1926

Apr. 18, p. 216 [Feature article describing attempts to salvage submarine sunk by steamer City of Rome, Sept. 25, 1925.] "Navy Again Will Try to Lift Sunken S-51."

Apr. 26, p. 3:6 [Second attempt to raise it begun.] "Navy to Try Again to Raise the S-51."

Apr. 28, p. 27:2 [Located.] "Sunken Submarine S-51 Located."

Apr 29, p. 4:6 [Located.] "Divers Survey S-51 128 Feet Deep in Sea."

may 1926

May 2, p. 67 [Divers attach pontoons.] "Fasten Pontoons to S-51."

May 3, p. 26:6 [Rushing work.] "Rushing Work on the S-51."

May 18, p. 30:5 [Work resumed after halt because of weather.] "Work on Floating S-51 Is Resumed."

May 31, p. 17:4 [Plans for Memorial Day service on spot of sinking.] "To Honor Submarine Dead."

june 1926

June 1, p. 3:5 [Memorial services held for dead.] "Strew Flowers Over S-51."

June 3, p. 4:5 [Final preparations made for raising.] "Ready to Raise the S-51. Special to the New York Times: Washington (no title)."

June 20, p. 6:1 [Preparation for raising under direction of Commander E. Ellsberg: courage of divers F. G. Smith and R. C. Wilson revealed in official report.] "Navy Is All Ready to Raise the S-51. Courage of Divers Told."

June 21, p. 21:3 [Last preparations for raising.] "Last Steps Taken to Raise the S-51."

June 22, p. 9:4 [Salvage work continued into the night; statement by Capt. E. J. King.] "Work on the S-51 Goes on at Night."

June 23, p. 1:4 [Rises, but later sinks again; salvage operations described, illustrated.] "S-51 Suddenly Rises; Later Sinks Again."

June 24, p. 23:2 [Work halted on account of rain; problems confronting British in raising German fleet at Scapa Flow compared ; salvagers heartened by report that navy will continue operations.] "S-51 Work Halted as Rain Sweeps Sea."

June 25, p. 24:3 [Capt. King reports to Adm. Plunkett after examining wreck, saying it may be possible to raise it in 2 weeks.] "Says Navy Will Lift S-51 in Two Weeks."

july 1926

July 5, p. 21:2 [Another attempt will be made to raise submarine tomorrow.] "Navy Plans to Lift the S-51 Tomorrow."

July 6, p. 1:1 [Raised; on way to Brooklyn Navy Yard.] "Navy Wrests S-51 from Ocean's Grip; Now on Way Here."

July 7, p. 27:6 [Off South Norwalk; vessels are warned off; Court of Inquiry reconvenes to examine recovered craft and continue investigation of sinking.] "S-51, On Way Here, Off South Norwalk."

July 8, p. 1:4, 3:4 [Hits East River reef, but is lifted safely; towed into Brooklyn Navy Yard; See Wilbur coming to inspect wreck.] "S-51 Docked at Last; Hits East River Reef But Is Lifted Safely."

July 8, p. 24:5 [Editorial on its lifting.] "Topics of the Times: A Hard Job Well Performed."

July 9, p. 1:3, 5:5 [Bodies of dead will be taken out of hull; See Wilbur wires praise to Admiral Plunkett for men who salvaged craft.] "To Take S-51's Men Today From Posts at Which They Died. Wilbur Wires Navy's Praise."

July 10, p. 1:5 [18 victims taken from hull; 6 still missing; list of identified dead; mute evidence uncovered of men's heroism; Pres. Coolidge lauds victims; send sympathy to families; Inquiry Board in session to investigate East River grounding; Sec. Wilbur arrives at navy Yard; praises salvage crew; says ship will be put into service again.] "Eighteen Victims Taken from S-51; All Met Quick Death. Coolidge Lauds S-51 Victims; Sends Sympathy to Families."

July 11, p. 1:3 [18 bodies identified; list of dead; Capt. R. H. Dobson and 5 others among missing after final check-up; wreck open to public inspection in Brooklyn Navy Yard; Mrs. R. H. Dobson's letter congratulating Navy for success in raising craft.] "Six Swept Off S-51, Including Captain, Were Lost at Sea."

July 11, p. 20 "Saved by Seaman's Luck (A. E. Farley). Died as Furlough Neared (Stephen Harvey Triffitt)."

July 11, p. 59 [Editorial.] "And the Sea Gave Up the Dead That Were in It."

July 12, p. 21:8 [50,000 view wreck in Navy Yard: Naval Board will resume its investigation of grounding on East River reef.] "50,000 View Wreck of S-51 in Navy Yard."

July 13, p. 23:5 [Plans for funeral of victims; Lt. Commander Harvey testifies as to identification of bodies.] "One of S-51 Victims to Be Buried Today (J. M. Schofield)."

July 14, p. 8:1 [Repair costs put at $636,876, exclusive of $160,000 for salvage; hearing on wreck resumed; burial of J. M. Schofield.] "S-51 Repair Costs Put at $636,876; Radio Man of S-51 Buried."

July 15, p. 25:6 [Naval Board of Inquiry hears testimony of Lt. Commander Ellsberg, who says submarine had engine trouble on night of wreck.] "Testifies the S-51 Had Engine Trouble."

July 16, p. 36:2 [Inquiry Board ends its sessions without a record of ship's last movements; wreck will be opened to public inspection again.] "Fails to Find Log of Wrecked S-51."

July 18, p. 4:5 [Findings of Naval Board of Inquiry sent to Washington.] "S-51 Report Sent to Washington." (Appears below 'Army Air Promotions Made by Davison.')

July 25, p. 161 [Feature article by Lt. Commander E. Ellsberg in charge of the raising of the craft; illus.] "Man and the Sea Fought a Duel for the S-51; Lieutenant-Commander Ellsberg's Own Story of the Heroic Divers Who Upheld Navy's Traditions."

July 25, p. 55 [Editorial.] "Salvaging S-51."

august 1926

Aug. 3, p. 20:6 [Letter from Adm. P. Andrews praising N. Y. Times account of the raising.] "Praise for the S-51 Job."

Aug. 8, p. 21:1 [Salvagers get special honors from Navy Dept.] "S-51 Salvagers Get Special Honors."

Aug. 28, p. 4:7 [Salvagers decorated.] "Honored for S-51 Salvage; Officers and Sailors Who Raised Wrecked Submarine Decorated." (Appears below 'Flood in Hospital Stopped.')

september 1926

Sept. 5, p. 4:1 [Steamboat Inspection Board holds both submarine and S.S. Rome responsible for collision; findings conflict with report of Navy Board of Inquiry; officers are penalized.] "Both S-51 and Liner Blamed for Crash."

december 1926

Dec. 4, p. 1:4 [Boston dist. for U.S.S. Inspection Service increases suspension of J. Diehl (Capt. of City of Rome) for sinking submarine, Sept. 1925, 2 yrs.; reduces that of T. L. Dreyer (mate of vessel) to 1 month and 20 days.] "Adds Two Years to Suspension of Capt. Diehl for S-51 Sinking."

Dec. 10, p. 30 "Capt. Diehl Has Appealed; No Final Decision in Case of City of Rome's Commander."


july 1927

July 15, p. 1:2 [Capt. J. H. Diehl of S. S. City of Rome indicted by Federal Grand Jury for sinking S-51 off Block Island in Sept. 1925; 2 bills accuse him of neglect; story of disaster recalled.] "Capt. Diehl Is Indicted for Sinking the S-51; Two Bills Accuse Ship Master of Neglect."

september 1927

Sept. 27, p. 8:2 [Heirs of 28 victims of submarine file suit against Government for $1,775,000.] "Government Sued for Deaths in S-51. Special to the New York Times: Washington (no title)."

october 1927

Oct. 21, p. 2:4 [J. H. Diehl, Capt. of City of Rome, acquitted in sinking.] "Capt. Diehl Acquitted in Sinking of S-51."

november 1927

Nov. 19, p. 2:1 [W. Marshall testifies in Admiralty Court in damage action of Navy and widows of those who died in collision.] "Captain of Olympic Witness in S-51 Case."

Nov. 22, p. 59:2 [Hearings in damage action.] "Loss of S-51 Is Described."

Nov. 23, p. 51:3 [Hearings in damage action.] "Lays Blame for S-51 Loss."

Nov. 24, p. 47:3 [Capt. Diehl on stand.] "Captain Again Tells How S-51 Was Sunk."

Nov. 30, p. 51:2 [E. Ellsberg and others heard.] "Ellsberg Testifies in S-51 Suit."

december 1927

Dec. 1, p. 12:4 [A. Geier, D. Kile and Diehl heard.] "Collapses Telling of Escape on S-51; Geier, a Survivor of Submarine Sinking Breaks Down During Claims Suit."

Dec. 21, p. 2:3 [Repr. A. J. Griffin asks House inquiry into disaster.] "Submarine Inquiry Proposed in House."

Dec. 31, p. 16:3 [Editorial on issue of compensation to dependents of victims.] "Hazards of Submarine Duty."


january 1928

Jan. 28, p. 2:5 [House Naval Committee favors bill for double pensions for dependents of victims.] "House Committee Favors Double Pensions for Dependents of All Submarine Victims."

march 1928

Mar. 1, p. 9:4 [Federal Judge Goddard grants motion by Ocean S. S. Co., owner of S. S. City of Rome, limiting it's liability to $307,000; both vessels found at fault; Government held equally responsible.] "Damages Limited in Sinking of S-51."

april 1928

Apr. 21, p. 19:7 [Celler bill for promotion by Congress of E. Ellsberg, H. Hartley, and R. E. Hawes for meritorious services meets opposition before House Committee.] "Opposes Ellsberg Bill."

october 1928

Oct. 28, p. 22:3 [S-51 on view in Brooklyn Navy Yard.] "City in Tribute to Mark Navy Day (See Salvaged S-51)."

november 1928

Nov. 7, p. 45:2 [Supreme Court to rule on estates of dead.] "Gets S-51 Disaster Suits."


january 1929

Jan. 8, p. 18:2 [S-51 appeals are barred by U.S. Supreme Court.] "Bars New York Suit on State Power Act (S-51 Appeals Are Barred)."

may 1929

May 12, IV, p. 3:2 [How the S-51 was raised from the sea. (Book review of On the Bottom by Commander Edward Ellsberg.)] "How the S-51 Was Raised from the Sea."


may 1930

May 29, p. 46:1 [Bids $3,320 for S-51's hulk.] "Bids $3,320 for S-51's Hulk."

june 1930

June 24, p. 50:8 [Junk submarine in which 30 died.] "Junk Submarine in Which 30 Died."

december 1930

Dec. 4, p. 22:2 [Junkman pays $100 for Submarine S-51; ship which sank with 33 men off Block Island is taken from Canarsie Dump.] "Junkman Pays $100 for Submarine S-51."